The Nitro Deck has been announced as the “professional handheld deck for Nintendo Switch” and has received a launch trailer alongside some lofty promises. Pre-orders are now available, with an expected shipping date of September 18. Prices start at $59.99 (approximately £47.99 / AU$88).
What makes the upcoming Nitro Deck accessory for the Nintendo Switch so exciting is the promise of “no more stick drift” as the traditional dual Joy-Con standard setup has been replaced. Instead, you’ll be slotting either your standard edition console or the Nintendo Switch OLED model, into the USB-C port, with two fixed controllers on either side; a more high-tech version of the Nintendo Switch Lite‘s approach.
The form factor looks much more ergonomic than the standard way of going handheld with the Nintendo Switch console, too. That’s because there’s a textured grip replacing the otherwise-smooth finish, which is carved out for your hands, similarly to how some of the best Nintendo Switch controllers operate. Because it slots in through USB-C directly, it also means that you won’t be needing to charge them as much as you would standard Joy-Con controllers, either.
At present, there are three different versions of the Nitro Deck which all come with some significant cosmetic differences. The “base editions” are the cheapest of the lot coming in at $59.99 in black, white, and grey, and act as the most basic setup. However, the “Nostalgia Editions” are much more eye-catching, with both a Gamecube and North American SNES-inspired design looking particularly sharp at $89.99. There are also the “Limited Run” variants which are translucent and come in either blue or purple for the same price.
Whether the Nitro Deck really can fix stick drift remains to be seen. However, judging from the fact that these controllers are fixed into the attachment mount and built in a more traditional manner than the OEMs gives me hope. The price points are fairly competitive as well, offering a viable third-party alternative to going out and buying a replacement set of Joy-Cons to slot in on either side.
The Nitro Deck looks like it could be one of the best Nintendo Switch accessories around to enjoy some of the best Nintendo Switch games. We’re also covering other hardware news announced at E3 2023, such as the new upcoming Xbox Series S 1TB Carbon Black variant.